5 Tips For Travelling with Mobility Aids

Travel

22 December 2020

5 Tips For Travelling with Mobility Aids

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Are you planning a vacation or do you want to visit family & friends? Planning a trip can be stressful at the best of times, especially when you or your travel companion has mobility requirements. But don't worry, we are here to make it easier for you and ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable experience for all involved. There is still a lot of uncertainty around travelling with mobility equipment in Australia. We often get asked whether electric mobility aids are allowed when boarding a plane, what the costs involved are and which products are best suited to travel. So allow us to clear things up and give you the top five tips on how to successfully travel by air with mobility aids like electric scooters or wheelchairs:

 

Plane tickets

 
 

Accommodations

 
 

A well-planned itinerary

 
 

Smartphones and camera

 
 

Mobility device

 

1.

Knowledge is Power - know your batteries

 

There are a few different types of batteries that can power electric mobility equipment. The most common ones are gel batteries, lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries. Most portable mobility scooters and powerchairs are powered by non-spillable or lithium-ion batteries to allow for easier lifting and transport. 

 

As a rule of thumb, you are able to travel with all different types of batteries listed above, however, the size and the way in which you travel will vary depending on the style of battery and the mobile device you are taking with you. The below information reflects the information from the Qantas Website, extracted on Dec 2020. Please note that this information may be subject to change. To see the latest info please click here.

For Lithium Batteries      

Lithium batteries must be in their protective cases, with the battery pack or wire harness disconnected from the mobility device and any connectors need to be taped over. The protective case is usually a plastic housing with some handle to help carry the battery.

All Lithium batteries sold by Motobility come standard in a protective housing. Including Solax Batteries, Luggie Batteries, SupaScoota Batteries and E-Traveller Batteries. 

 

160WH +

 

Any Lithium Batteries exceeding 160WH (Voltage x Amp-hour = Watt-hours) are prohibited to be transported on an aeroplane and must be sent as dangerous goods freight.

 

100WH to 159WH

 

A maximum of two spares per passenger are permitted and prior airline approval is required. All battery terminals/connectors must be protected. The battery is required to be taken as Carry-on baggage

 

Less than 100WH

 

No prior airline approval is required, all terminals and connectors need to be protected. The batterie/batteries, will be required to be taken as cabin luggage.

 

Non-Spillable Batteries (including dry cell, Gel and Lead-Acid)      

 

12V and 100WHAny Batteries exceeding 12V and 100WH (Voltage x Amp-hour = Watt-hours) are prohibited to be transported on the plane and require to be sent as dangerous goods freight.

Not exceeding 12V and 100WhThese batteries need to be carried as carry-on luggage and passengers are limited to two spares per passenger. Prior Airline approval is required.

 

 2.

Communication is key - communicate with your airline and/or travel agent       

According to Qantas, the largest airline company in Australia, if you need wheelchair assistance or you are travelling with your own mobility aid, once you’ve booked your flight you can send a request online. Provide your booking reference number along with these details:

  A) 

Type of Mobility Aid (manual or battery-powered)

 

 

 
  B)

if motorised the battery type: Nickel Hydride, lithium-ion or non-spillable

 
  C)

Mobility aid brand and model

 

 

 
  D)

the dimensions (in its most compact state) and the weight, height, length and width of the mobility aid. 

For more information about mobility aid assistance, visit the website of your airline or call their hotline or speak to your travel agent ahead about your needs.

3.

Be Prepared - carry your user manual and MSDS Certificate

 

 

 

Your mobility aids like the electric scooter and wheelchairs are delicate items and therefore must be handled properly. Always bring with you the user manual and/or the battery information so that airline employees assisting you may know how to handle your mobility equipment with care.

4.

Prevention is better than a cure - Invest in a sturdy carry case

   

As mentioned in bullet number three, mobility scooters and wheelchairs are fragile and must be handled with care. Take extra precaution since when you fly, not all the time that you have your eyes on your precious mobility aids or some handlers may be a bit careless so better have a sturdy carry case that protects your scooter or wheelchair. The carry case must have the following:

  1. Hard outer layer
  2. Wheeled for easy mobility
  3. Padded inside for extra protection
  4. Lockable for extra peace of mind

5.

Expect the Unexpected - be prepared for emergencies

 

Always be prepared for emergencies so always have spare keys, spare batteries and some accessories https://www.motobility.com.au/products/electric-mobility-scooters or https://www.motobility.com.au/products/electric-wheelchairs-powerchairs/wheelchair-accessories>  in tow. More than that, make sure that your mobility equipment is insured!

               

More Tips:

         
 

1.

When bringing your mobility equipment, keep in mind that it’s FREE of charge!

 

2.

Make sure that your scooter supplier provided you with a verification of compliance certificate for your battery as some airlines might require this. Always keep this document handy, so you’ll have a hassle-free journey!

 

3.

It is always a good practice to research about your destination, especially when you’re touring with someone with mobility needs. Please bear in mind that rules may vary when travelling in different countries, so always call ahead to double-check!

 

4.

Download or print this flow chart, so you have a reference in your next flight

   


 

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